Photo courtesy of www.kws.org
Kakamega is a town in the then western province; it is now the head quarter of Kakamega County which is the second populous county after Nairobi and the third largest town in Kenya. It is situated in the north of Kisumu city and a port city on Lake Victoria. The term Kakamega comes from a local dialect which means ‘pinch’, which was used to describe the way the European colonists used to eat the staple food of the residence of this town. The local inhabitants of kakamega town are the luhya community. There main economic activity is fishing and farming.
Mumias Sugar Company which is situated in the village of Mumias is the major sector that drives the economy of the town. This is the largest sugar producing firm in Kenya. However, the residence does not entirely depend on the company economically. The agriculture in this town includes; growing of sugarcane which is done both in large scale and small scale, there is also small scale mixed farming of millet, tea, maize, soya beans, dairy products, and sunflower.
Other economic activities include small scale gold mining; it was the scene for major gold rush in the 1930s that was partly fueled by reports of Albert Kitson who was a geologist. Commercial businesses also contribute to the economy of the town. It is a commercial center which is evident by the high number of banks set up in the region such as the National bank, co-operative bank, Kenya commercial bank, Barclays bank, equity bank, and family bank among others. All these thrive in this town because of the high population which translates into high market. Also the transportation sector offers a better employment in the region as the ‘boda boda’ motor cycle is the main transportation the residence use more frequently.
The strategic location of the town enables the residence to participate in trade with there partners in nearby towns such as Bungoma to the north, Trans Nzoia to the north east, Uasin Gishu and Nandi counties to the east, Vihiga county to the south, Siaya county to the south west and finally Busia to the West. These regions are very important to the kakamega town as far as their economy is concerned since all these areas are mainly tropical with wide diurnal range and high rainfall amounts.
In conclusion, Kakamega is a town to be for a holiday or at any time you need to relax. With the wide range of services and goods in the towns market presents you with an opportunity to decide on what you need. When it comes to hotels where tourists can spend, they are at the top of the table with first class and classic places to fit everyone’s needs at all times. The fact that the main economic activity of the residence of Kakamega being agriculture is an assurance that the food security is high and no one can risk being without food due to shortages at any given point.